Countries, Ireland

Clock out Dublin’s Clerys again

It was the iconic meeting place for first dates and young lovers so there‘s anticipation in the air that you can clock out Dublin’s Clerys again.

The 170-year-old department store in the heart of O’Connell Street was taken over in 2015.

With a refurb starting in 2019 which is at last nearing completion.

The old store and an adjoining building The Clerys Quarter is springing up.

As a retail, office, bar and restaurant complex and hotel.

We’re particularly looking forward to the Clerys Rooftop Restaurant.

Where you’ll get views of Dublin to match, maybe even the Guinness Storehouse’s Gravity Bar.

Ticking the right box

Curtain-raiser: The Clerys unveiling

Hence the symbolic reunveiling of the clock and an exhibition of the history of the store.

And for anybody for whom Dublin isn’t a new trip they’ll recognise the clock.

With its Roman numerals which have been restored with gold leaf.

While the mechanical system has also been modernised.

Making an exhibition 

Glittering: What it will look like

To mark the occasion there will be a free exhibition Clerys: The Archives.

And that will include documents, objects, and images to tell the story of the capital landmark.

There will be rescued artefacts dating back to 1847, images and tales throughout the years.

And personal stories from the documentary ‘Under the Clock’.

Streets ahead

Tea time: Rooftop eating and drinking

Clerys’ return to O’Connell Street removes an eyesore facade from the landscape.

And it breathes new life and a much-needed elegance into the capital’s thoroughfare.

Like many a main street around the world O’Connell Street has fallen prey.

To the tacky, tawdry and tasteless over the decades.

But this Clerys renovation will revive some of the street’s glitz in keeping with its statues down the spine of the street and we do love to put deserving people of pedestals.

The redevelopment has involved restoring the collonaded facade, internal staircases, columns and ceilings… and the clock.

Rare gold times

Streets ahead: The great Dublin street

We expect the Great and the Good who reside on O’Connell Street, the heroes of Irish history…

Daniel O’Connell, Jim Larkin, Charles Stewart Parnell will all look across at the new Clerys with pride.

And because the dial always moves forward.

Then we can celebrate Dublin in the rare gold times.

As we clock out Dublin’s Clerys again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asia, Countries, Europe, Ireland

Nollaig Shona or a Feliz Navidad

Perhaps it’s familiarity but my eyes always light up when I see banners illuminated in a language not my own… a Nollaig Shona or a Feliz Navidad.

Or any of the 7,000 languages in the world.

Although understandably there are more than their fair share there that don’t celebrate Christmas.

Heck, half the gospels don’t reference the Nativity at all, but we’ll pass over that…

After all it’s a long time since Christmas was ever anything to do with Christ anyway.

Instead then here we’ll shine a light on a handful of special lights shows around the time the world switches on.

To what are now called instead the Holiday Season.

Dublin’s flair city

Streets ahead: Grafton Street

Dublin (Nollaig Shona): And Dublin’s narrow shopping hub Grafton Street is where the Nollaig Shona banners stand out most.

And where Bono has been known to occasionally busk, but don’t let that put you off.

Cathedral of lights

Crystal clear: Malaga

Malaga (Feliz Navidad): Now the time was that the best Christmas party was with with my Spanish friends from their tourist board in Dublin.

But, of course, better still would be to enjoy the festivities in Espana.

And I’m told that Malaga is the place to go.

The city has a new design this year with 16 celestial angels on 32 columns that stretch the entire length of Calle Larios.

Santa’s home

Toast Turkey: With Onur in Istanbul

Turkey (Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun): Patara, St Nicholas (or Santie as we’d call him today) is just a Roman ruins now.

With ne’er a chimney to come down.

But they do mark this time of the year in the muslim country, with Istanbul, its largest city being one of the most cosmopolitan hubs in the world.

We’re reliably told that Istiklal is especially strung out with stylish festive lights.

Between buildings with chestnuts roasting on an open brazier fire.

Lap it up

Sky’s the limit: In Lapland

Lapland (Hyvaaa joulua Lapissa): So how has a Turkish holy man come to be relocated in our minds to Lapland.

Or more specifically Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland?

Well radio broadcaster Marcus Rautio claimed it for the Finns.

When he said that Santa’s workshop had been discovered in 1927.

While the earliest reference to him living in the North Pole is from a magazine cartoon from as 1866.

The best lights here though will be the heavenly dancers, the Northern lights.

O little star

Jesus was here? Bethlehem

Bethlehem (Khag molad sameakh/Eid Milad Majid): And for those who believe that Jesus was born in the Little Town.

And only Matthew and Luke carry the story while Mark and John skip his birth.

But Bethlehem does light up at this time of year with the historic Moravian district slated as the place to be.

So whether it’s a Nollaig Shona or a Feliz Navidad or whatever your language Happy Holidays everyone.

 

 

 

Countries, Europe, UK

Dear Green Places

When St Mungo witnessed what would become my home city he hailed it Glasgow, but what of the other Dear Green Places?

It’s not recorded why Mungo didn’t venture eastwards to Edinburgh, perhaps Glaswegians were more in need of saving.

But he’d have found an even greener place.

And it had a name already, Edwin’s Fort, after King Edwin of Northumberland.

Some would say it’s still populated by Geordies… on the stag do’s.

Green Paree

Tree bien: Jardin des Tuileries

Green as they are, alas, our cities aren’t as verdant as our friends around Europe.

And some researchers even believe England’s green and pleasant land is merde compared to France’s vert.

Paris for Fiftysomethings and above was oft-called Gay Paree before its meaning changed and maybe now it should be called Green Paree .

A study by Drinking Straw analysed the number of parks, gardens, wildlife areas, forests, playgrounds and bodies of water compared to the size of the population.

To see which areas have the most green spaces per 100,000 people.

Paris is the greenest of any capital, with 325 total green spaces made up of 171 parks, 127 gardens, one wildlife area, 16 playgrounds and ten bodies of water.

Their Lux in

Aspire to spires: Luxembourg City

When accounting for population, it has 7.62 parks and 5.66 gardens per 100,000 people.

Little Luxembourg City comes in second with 13 green spaces despite its smaller population, comprised of eight parks, one garden and four playgrounds.

There were 8.51 parks per 100,000 people, the highest of any city in the study.

Rare oul’ limes

Feast of Stephen: St Stephen’s Green

And our own fave capital, Dublin takes third on the list.

With 66 green spaces comprised of 34 parks, 15 gardens, seven nature and wildlife areas, three playgrounds, one forest and six bodies of water.

The study found it to have 6.47 parks and 2.86 gardens per 100,000 people when population was accounted for.

London’s falling

Princes among princes: Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

My own nearest city, Edinburgh, comes in 17th with a total of 31 green spaces when adjusting for population.

The Big Smoke London comes in 24th place with 356 in total, but when taking into account the city’s population it falls out of the top ten.

The final straw

Suck it and see: Straws

So who are Drinking Straw?

Well, they are a distributor, wholesaler, and supplier of drinking straws in Europe, offering flexible, eco-friendly and plastic-free wholesale stock.

And they are right to keep on at us.

And they are ably supported by our airlines, cruises and hotels and the Mother Turtles, my old friend Ingrid out in the Maldives.

It’s the final straw what’s been happening all around us.

Let’s hang onto our Dear Green Places before we lose them altogether.

 

 

Countries, Ireland

Bloomin’ heck it’s a Dublin airport breakfast on Bloomsday

And because Leopold Bloom didn’t have this option back in 1904.. bloomin’ eck it’s a Dublin airport breakfast on Bloomsday.

Bloomsday is a celebration of the mythical day in the life of James Joyce‘s great creation Leopold Bloom, June 16th 1904.

And this year is a special Bloomsday.

And not just because the day of Joyce japes is back after being put on hold these last couple of years because of Covid.

You have to wonder too if Leopold’s famous breakfast of ‘grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine’ would have been a cure-all for coronavirus.

While Joycers reenacted the Great Man’s Day, minus the naughty bits, in his native Dublin.

This one-time English Lit graduate spent the morning in that most modern-day of pursuits.

Waiting at the airport.

Red-eye, must fly

Hat’s the boy: James Joyce

The 6.25am Ryanair red-eye from Dublin back to Edinburgh is a bit of a marathon.

And you can get caught between two stools of whether to get an overnighter or take a nap at the airport.

The pod bubbles will contort you in a bit of an unnatural position.

But then they are more comfortable than lying across the seats or trying to nod off when you’re sat up.

The boy in the bubble: In Dublin Airport

Equally, it came as a bit of a surprise to discover that the Aircoach doesn’t go right through the night.

Instead it now finishes at 12.30am, and meaning I had to get a taxi back from O’Connell Street, but hey-ho.

I had spent only £25 and a couple of £6 extras for seat selection and early check-ins so I had saved already…

Message to the broken British train service here which charges £100+ to go from Edinburgh to London.

My inner Joyce

Caribbean king: With Florian in Dublin

I’ve been channeling my own inner Joyce with these flying visits back to Dublin.

Since relocating back in Scotland two years ago and I’ll continue to do so.

I’ll fill you in with the details of our Caribbean Road show at the Iveagh Garden Hotel in Harcourt Street.

And it is Dublin’s go-to entertainment street (only tourists think it’s Temple Bar).

And the apres with old friends and new.

But, of course, wine and Guinness, needs some soaking up.

Bloomtown Rat: Leopold Bloom

And as good and as welcoming our buffet was with chicken, obligatory in the Caribbean, obviously on the menu, you will hit that food wall.

In the early hours in the airport.

Of course, in the early hours the food outlets are closed but start opening up, I’m thinking about 4am/4.30am or after.

So if you can hold out there are enticing food variations.

Now, for the day that’s in it it’s worth pointing out Leopold Coffee House.

It serves fresh coffee, teas, breakfast and a selection of baked goods, pastries and sandwiches.

Airport drinks

What’s going on here:? Hammer time

Now, this is Ireland after all so there is a culture of airport drinks.

But, and this will be the last time you’ll hear this, I’m pretty much a good boy around this.

And I prefering to keep any boozing until when I get there (wherever there is).

But if you’ve got a thirst on you then you might want to check out the Tap + Brew Craft Beer + Kitchen, the specs of which read thus…

‘A contemporary kitchen and bar offering a range of local artisan beers paired with gourmet hot dogs, loaded nachos, and tasty waffles.’

And so you get bacon waffles and the like, although at prices in the mid-teens I gave it a miss.

Of course, for coffee lovers, then there are the usual branded stores.

What the Butler saw

Blast from the past: A Joyce lookalike

But when in Ireland you should check out Butler’s, a favourite of ours. and with that little touch of a comp chocolate.

Now this is by no mean a definitive guide and there are a lot more choices to explore in the hours you have in the airport.

As well as the kerching and retail stores.

But as we’re creatures of habit, and I’m still kicking myself over shelling out more on the taxi after missing the Aircoach, I went back to an old staple.

The WH Smith meal deal, and I’m thinking about €6.50 for a packaged sandwich, drink (water or fizzy) and a bag of crips. It’s £5 in Edinburgh.

Bloomin’ heck it’s a Dublin airport breakfast on Bloomsday but it’ll do for me.

And, of course, the hick with the stick (Dubs have a more earthy nickname) was right to eulogise his home city.

With his epic day in the life odyssey. It’s become my signature trip.

 

 

 

Countries, Ireland

Dublin hub from hub for Ukrainians

It was a home from home in my 13 years in Ireland which is why I’m flagging up a Dublin hub from hub for Ukrainians.

Ireland has been as good as its word as the land of a hundred thousand welcomes the refugees from war.

And Ukrainian families arriving in Ireland are immediately made to feel at home with the biggest Failte.

Nappy days

Child’s play: And Dublin Airport helps out.

Dublin Airport has given over room in its old terminal for facilities and provisions for its new guests.

More than 2,500 Ukrainian refugees have already arrived, with children comprising a third of that number.

And the kindly Irish have filled it with toys, baby food and nappies.

All very necessary with two-thirds of the entrants children, with the menfolk staying behind to fight for their homeland.

20,000 welcomes

Ukrainians welcome: Ireland’s famous fáilte

Of course there are the pressing matters to of accommodation, public services and medical care and that is also being processed without fuss.

In all Ireland is set to welcome in 20,000 and upwards in Ukrainean refugees.

And that is more than commendable for a population of 4million.

That neutral Ireland is so welcoming should come as little surprise to those with long memories of world wars.

And for those of us who lived a decade and a half in Ireland.

Operation Shamrock

You’re Irish now: The German refugees

Operation Shamrock was a joint Save the German Children Society and Irish Red Cross initiative after the Second World War.

And 500 children were fostered out to Irish families for three years with 50 staying or returning from Germany.

Danke: The German gift

Tourists ambling through St Stephen’s Green in the centre of Dublin, or indeed on their lunch hour probably miss the memorial.

The Three Faites fountain which was donated by the West German government.

There is another more living, breathing legacy of Operation Shamrock in Glencree.

Centre for peace and reconciliation 

Reunion: Of the German children

The clearing house for those children in the verdant hills of Co. Wicklow.

Where there is an exhibition from that time at the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation.

While you can also visit 134 graves of mainly German Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine forces nearby.

All of which proves that no matter whether our countries are on the frontline or not we cannot and should not stand on the sidelines.

Charity begins at hub

Ole ole ole: The Green Army

And as we continue with normal life and the Irish and their friends pass through Dublin Airport this week in their numbers.

For St Paddy’s Day and later with money from their Cheltenham winnings they will fill those charity boxes.

At a Dublin hub from hub for Ukrainians.

 

America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, Sport, UK

Touchdown LA

The eyes of the world will be on the Super Bowl tomorrow so let’s play a little game of stadium spotting… and Touchdown LA.

The magnificent SoFi Stadium is led-lighted up like a Christmas Tree so the world can see it from the air.

And while we, of course, always look out of our windows for iconic landmarks, us sporty types also target sports stadiums.

LA is my Playday

What an Angel: Jimmy in LA

Los Angeles: Now the first thing that we look out for when we fly into the City of Angels is the Hollywood sign.

Alas it is not so easily spotted up there in the hills meaning SoFi monopolises your view.

Cartoon fun: Simpsons

You can, of course, rectify that with a 8.8km walking trip up to the Griffith Observatory.

As long as you didn’t sit yourself down next to a passenger who was sick into her bag, gave it to you and passed on a 24-hour bug.

London calling

Wembley way: And Scotland are winning?

London: With 22 football grounds in the English capital you’d think you’d have a choice of viewing from the air.

You can see a good bunch of them, Wembley, the Emirates, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Stamford Bridge and the Thameside Craven Cottage.

More surprising is the ground outside of the capital in Watford.

And its red and yellow seats… very Harry Potter which is pertinent seeing you can visit Harry’s world there.

As the Hertfordshire town houses the Warner Bros. Studio London.

The other is in LA… and yes, I missed that too because of that passenger’s virus although I will be back, and obvs with Attraction Tickets Direct.

In Dublin’s air city

Green for go: At the Aviva

Dublin: And, of course, Irish sports fans will be converged in Paris today for le rugby et Les Bleus v Les Vertes.

For those of us who visit the Irish capital, or were lucky enough to live there for 13 years you’ll see their marvellous Aviva Stadium.

Which I will again tomorrow… and my heart is leaping.

The Cruyff turn Amsterdam

Bird’s eye view: How Cruyff changed football

Amsterdam: And this is really what they should call the pilot’s move as he flies into Schiphol Airport in Clog City.

The Ajax stadium is named after the Netherlands greatest-ever player after which this move was named.

The late Cruyff was iconic in his white and single red stripe Ajax top and Oranje national shirts.

And if you can board a bouncing train with the Oranje Army down to Rotterdam where Cruyff played latterly then all the better.

The Camp Flew

Bear hug: With Messi the bear

Barcelona: Cruyff is as big a hero in Barcelona as Amsterdam.

After reviving them as a player with his total football.

And as the architect of Barca’s Tiki-Taka football, taken to new heights in the Catalans Messi-inspired teams of the Noughties and Tweens.

I first saw Barcelona from the cabin of a cruise ship (as you do).

So I saw the city from the air in a helicopter.

I expressed my wonderment to the pilot about the stadium below.

Only for him to tell me that that was the Reserve Team’s ground and that the Camp Nou was coming up.

So if you’re flying into the City of Angels for the Super Bowl.

Or plan to visit in the future look out for the SoFi stadium… because it’s Touchdown LA.

 

 

Countries, Ireland

Liam Neeson promoting Ireland and he will find you

I have a very particular set of skills I have acquired over a very long career. Not me (well, yes me) but another superstar.. Liam Neeson promoting Ireland and he will find you.

The big Ballymena man has that distinction which all the greats possess…

You can instantly recognise that it is him as soon as you hear his voice.

And he also possesses the gravitas and charisma which means that he can act as an ambassador both for his native Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Heck, he sees it the way he feels it, very Bryan Mills, as an Irishman and he wants to promote the island on which he was born and which developed him.

Because for as much as we on these islands know about the challenges and divisions that the two parts of the island of Ireland have had.

The rest of the world doesn’t want to make a traveller’s distinction.

They want to visit them both… and why not?

Taken star Liam has lent his voice to a new giant-screen documentary film.

It’s called Ireland which is produced by McGillivray Freeman Films and is sponsored by Tourism Ireland.

And it will go on release in select IMAX and giant-screen theatres across the US in February. 

This is your pilot Liam talking

In another’s tongue it might sound cliched to talk of emerald islands and paradise but when it comes from Liam Neeson.

The Neesonathon celebrates the island’s rich history, culture, arts and music, as well as Ireland’s spectacular scenery.

It takes its American audience across Ireland.

Following writer Manchán Magan and others on an action-packed journey from Dublin to Belfast.

And from Kilkenny to Cong.

Viewers will see breath-taking footage of places like the Cliffs of Moher, the Giant’s Causeway and the Skellig Islands.

Ireland’s call

The Big Man and big-time Ireland rugby fan said: There is a movement in Ireland to reconnect with our heritage, to rediscover what it means to be Irish.

“And I am delighted to help bring the joy and diversity of all that Ireland has to offer.

“Both the old and the new, to IMAX and giant-screen audiences worldwide.

‘As viewers experience Ireland’s great beauty and humanity on the world’s largest screens, they will fall in love all over again.’

And 

A previous film produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films for Brand USA (destination marketing organisation for the US), called Natural Parks Adventure, was seen by around 8 million people in IMAX and giant-screen theatres.

And a sneak preview

And for those who want to get a flick of the vid and drown in Liam’s voice here’s a taster.

So here it is Liam Neeson promoting Ireland and he will find you.

 

Deals, Ireland

Craic Friday

And my friends in Visit Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland can have this one… Craic Friday. For the usual consultancy fee, of course.

As promised more Black Friday offers (and like all the best Fridays they stretch into the weekend).

It’s always nice to share your favourite hotels with your friends.

Dublin’s delights

in with the fixtures: At the InterCon

And I’m glad to have passed on the charms of my favourite Dublin hotel, the iconic InterContinental in Ballsbridge, with my old pal and multi-award winning Travel writer Yvonne Gordon.

Yvonne has been editing an international guide book and dropped in on Nicky and his staff at the D4 institution, just next to my old stomping ground.

You’ll save 25% off their best flexible rate and enjoy:

A spacious deluxe guest room or a choice of luxurious suites with many with balconies.

And a special recommendation here from my own mermaid who rave about their 14m heated indoor pool and relaxation area.

And their 10% off ESPA products.

There’s limited time to book through Friday, December 3.

And the offers are for stays between Monday, November 29 this year and September 4 next year. And book three days before arrival.

Lusty helpings

Lusty Beggers… can be choosers

And you’ll have lusty helpings all right with the famous hospitality in Northern Ireland.

The deliciously named Lusty Beg Island Resort in Fermanagh is giving you 40% off a B&B courtyard stay for two for £105 per night.

Or book two nights B&B courtyard for two for £265 and receive. £70 voucher to use during your stay.

The offer is open from January 1 to March 31 and is open through tomorrow.

Donegal Mammy

Search and replace: That couple could be you

And, yes, no dip into Ireland can be complete without a namecheck for its northernmost county… my Donegal Mammy would never forgive me.

The scenic Harvey’s Point, set in the idyllic surroundings of Lough Eske and with the Bluestack Mountains as a backdrop, is just where you want to be at this time of year.

Or any time, to be fair.

Now if you book your gift voucher online before midnight on Monday you will get a 10% discount.

That’s towards the stay offers or can be used to enjoy an Afternoon Tea or a meal in the Lakeside Restaurant or Harvey’s Bar and Terrace.

So, even though it’s Saturday, I make no apologies for giving you Craic Friday.

That’s  Irish logic for you.

 

 

 

America, Countries, Ireland

An American-Irish Thanksgiving in Dublin

It probably wasn’t like this for the Pilgrims in Plymouth in 1421… but I’ll more than take An American-Irish Thanksgiving in Dublin.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, masks, double dose certificates at the Radisson Blu Royal.

And certainly not what the Pilgrims laid before the natives…

Dried meat and fish, grains and flour, dried foot, cheese and hard biscuits.

Chow on chowder

Catch of the day: chowder

Thankfully culinary fashions have changed and we dined on New England chowder, mini burgers and wings.

All the time listening to the band belting out American standards.

And taking a tour of America, around the stands, from New England, Washington DC, Georgia and Florida.

Right across the Mid-West (Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah).

And over to my old friends in California.

Flying time

Fly the flag: Aer Lingus

And you’ve got it… Aer Lingus and British Airways were there (are there) to take us back.

Now that the borders are open again.

Now like a kid in a candy shop the difficult thing is what to choose first.

Our American Travel Fair resumes in Florida in May.

Orlando, woah, woah, woah

Minnie brwak: Minnie and me

So all roads lead there… to Orlando.

Now if the Pilgrims thought that New England was a good enough starting point to explore the New World who am I to disagree.

The eastern seaboard collection of states and commonwealths I know well from a summer in Boston after university and day trips to New Hampshire.

Connect with Connecticut

Making his Mark: Mark Twain

But I’m grateful here to Sue from Connecticut for clueing me in on her state.

You might be familiar with Mark Twain name-checking it in his time-travelling tome A Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur.

And you’ll find everything you want to know about the Great American and his great creations Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in his museum here.

And also take in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house and get a glimpse of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

She’d be known today as HBS but back in the day to Abraham Lincoln she was ‘the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.’

It’s a rich old history and one I can’t wait to add to in 2022.

But for now it’s enough to acknowledge my dear old friends and embrace (with an elbow nudge) my new ones.

With an American-Irish Thanksgiving in Dublin.

 

America, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Ireland

The summertime is coming

The summertime is coming and the trees are softly blooming. And the wild mountain Jim rolls around the blooming heather.

I’d rather be rolling around the blooming beach though I’ll settle for my front garden, North Berwick, until I get back out to the Caribbean.

But to mark the sun coming out, although I might jinx it, here’s some summer sizzlers to lift your Rainy Days and Songdays.

I remember that summer

And my summer girl in her autumn years

Summer in Dublin, Bagatelle: And this was the soundtrack of 1980 which is where he would always spend my summer.

I can’t remember the Liffey stinking like Hell but I was one of those young people looking so well on Grafton Street in Dublin.

Rock’n’roll never forgets, nor us, and singer Liam Reilly who was taken from us last year will always be a sound of our Dubliners summer.

It’s summer Irie

Irie Barbados: With Jevan and Donna

Money Well Spent, Biggie Irie: It’s the last day of Crop Over and I still have room for Bacchanal.

The Crop Over carnival, to be fair, lasts all summer and is the only thing Bajans devote their attentions to.

California, the best trip

Sloop John B, The Beach Boys: And it may have been the worst trip Brian Wilson ever went on.

But visiting SoCal, Southern California, and being entertained by the Boys, Snoop Dogg et al, was the best trip I’ve ever been on.

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Here comes the Sun, The Beatles: And The Beatles light up any summer.

Whether in Liverpool or Hamburg where I’ve followed in the Fab Four’s footsteps and I suggest you do the same.

Espana por favor

Going for a walk in Tenerife

Y Viva Espana, Sylvia: And Swede Sylvia’s song falls into the summer anthem category along again with Typically Tropical’s We’re Going To Barbados.

And, of course, it’s Britons and Irish go-to summer hotspot and ours too.

All of which brings us back to el hobby horse: why are the Canaries, off the coast of Africa not a special case.

After all those Tenerife trails won’t walk themselves.

So, seeing the summertime is coming then we should all blooming get out in the sun and sing and dance.